- The caretaker government’s Foreign Affairs Commissioner Julio Borges said on Wednesday that the regime is illegally selling gold bullion which is part of Venezuelan reserves for cash, evading sanctions. Borges shared his investigation with the U.S.Treasury Department and the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee. He estimates that they’ve sold around 300 tons since 2014, and the scheme involves Russia, Mali and the United Arab Emirates. He assured that a Russian plane takes the gold to a refinery in Mali and once it’s melted, it’s loaded on a UAE plane. Borges said that most of this gold ends up in the UAE but some of it has ended up in Libya and Switzerland. Borges asked the U.S. to hold an investigation and look at Tareck El Aissami and Alex Saab’s involvement.
- Guaidó insisted that most of the opposition won’t fall for the false dilemma of participating in an election without guarantees or not. He called for building a better unity to work for conditions for an election and solve the complex humanitarian emergency. He explained that in order to achieve unity, members of the Delegate Commission are touring the country. He added that good news on the arrival of vaccines through the COVAX system are coming and that he’ll present a new accountability report of the caretaker government shortly.
- Maduro’s AN Dialogue Committee was installed in Carabobo. Jorge Rodríguez bragged about the importance of this process and said that new voices are appearing, voices that question what’s dividing them. He said “we know what’s dividing us, but where can we meet in the middle?”
- Timoteo Zambrano said that a joint commission of the AN will evaluate the draft law for international cooperation and the approval of the Law of Consular Services.
- The electoral nominations committee will start the process of interviewing 114 candidates to the CNE board of authorities on Thursday.
- The WHO emphasized that airports shouldn’t ask travelers for proof of having received the COVID-19 vaccine.
- The president of the Nurses Guild of Caracas Ana Rosario Contreras said that healthcare workers still don’t know the details about the national vaccination plan. She reiterated that there’s still a lack of supplies and biosafety gear and that 80% of hospitals don’t have running water.
- Maduro said that there’s a new variant of COVID-19 in the country, P.1, which is more contagious. informó que registraron en el país casos de una variante de covid-19 (P.1, más contagiosa), with ten cases in Bolívar, Distrito Capital and Miranda for the last two weeks. He asked for “special and extraordinary and special actions to strengthen prevention” but he didn’t mention one.
- Maduro had a video conference call with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. Chavismo posted an image of Bachelet smiling to generate reactions on social media.
- Jorge Arreaza said that Maduro spoke to Bachelet about the measures to fight the pandemic and the progress on the cooperation with her office.
- Mothers of patients at the Nephrology Unit of J. M. de los Ríos Children’s Hospital protested to demand transplants. The organ donor system has been suspended for three years and nine months, well before the sanctions. The patients at this unit are protected by IACHR precautionary measures since 2018.
- “I’m not a public official,” Alex Saab said to EFE and assured them that if he were extradited to the U.S., he wouldn’t cooperate. Saab is accused of corruption for his business with Maduro’s regime.
- President Joe Biden signed the extension of the decree that declares Venezuela a threat for U.S. security, a decree first signed by Barack Obama in 2015. The situation of Venezuela still represents “an unusual and extraordinary threat for U.S. national security and foreign policy.”
- Trinidad and Tobago took advantage of exchanging favors with Maduro and reported that Venezuelans will have to apply for visas and obtain permits to travel, announced the National Security Minister.
A Swiss court rejected a residence permit for Nervis Villalobos, former Oil minister during Chávez’s government, according to Swissinfo. The authorities considered his presence to be a threat to public safety and risk for the country’s reputation.
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